Surprisingly, nothing. Despite the fuckton of effects, action focus was generally on a character, meaning any background of flashing/electric blue light (there was some) was distorted a bit.
GOTG2 is a continuation of the hanging thread left at the end of GOTG1: Who is Peter’s dad. The question is answered super fast. I won’t spoil the details of Ego, Peter’s father’s, character. If you don’t pay much attention to CBM news, you probably don’t know much, though if you know comics, you know Ego enough. Liberties are taken, but they did a pretty good job with him – despite the character not being the true father of Peter in the comics (who is a Spartaxian, Ego is not).
We start in the middle of a mission, which is a fun way to start. The mission goes alright, but they manage to piss off their employers, who are a race of people easy to piss off and not quick to forgive. Thus there is a subplot running through the film of trying to evade their former employers, much like in the original with the Ravagers trying to get Peter and the others for betraying them because they took the stone.
Another subplot is the return of Nebula, Gamora’s sister. Again, this is a continuation of a hanging thread from GOTG1, as her character still held a grudge against her sister but was too wounded to do much about it at the time.
The main plot, however, revolves around Peter and Ego, and the concept of what it means to be BLOOD family and what it means to be CHOSEN family. This applies to characters across the board, not only the five we saw as “Guardians” by the end of Vol. 1.
Beautiful. I’ve read and heard from several sources that Gunn used some new form of camera for this film. I’ve no clue about any of that, all I know is that it was a damn pretty movie.
Marvel/Disney dips back into the “deaging” well for a flashback scene with Ego and Peter’s mom. They do a good job with Kurt Russell. But my god I could not ignore that it meant a young woman was kissing a super old Kurt Russell! Spoilers? I don’t care. I have to get that out there. I mean, he’s plenty attractive for his age and all, but… holy crap. He would have been something like 65 when this was filmed! Laura Haddock, who plays Kurt’s mom, is literally the same age as me. She’s one month younger. This shouldn’t be a huge deal. There are tons of gigantic age gaps in film and all, it’s classic Hollywood to do that, but I think it’s because of the fact that we practically share a birthday, and the fact that there was a faking of a similar age… I don’t know. But it REALLY freaked me out. Apparently I am romantically ageist. I never knew.
ANYWAY. Visuals. Costuming was brilliant. Lots of continuation in the varieties of alien creatures, androids, and costuming. Beautifully Kirby-esque, lovingly quirky and fantastic. It makes Suicide Squad’s damn Oscar for makeup last year look even more like a bloody joke.
Here’s the IMDB, I’m going to hit the highlights.
Peter/Chris Pratt does a fantastic job emotionally here, and he has to carry the movie emotionally, since so much is centered around his father/son relationship. A lot of burden is placed on him, and he pulls it off. A bit of cheese, but it’s pretty good cheese.
Gamora/Zoe Saldana and Nebula/Karen Gillan work pretty well together. Karen growls a bit much still, and Zoe’s Gamora is much softer than the comic book Gamora I’m slightly more used to. But the dynamic is interesting, and the sister-relationship plays well with the theme of family. They also help tie-in Thanos, since he doesn’t appear in any other context.
Rocket/Bradley Cooper, Yondu/Michael Rooker, and Baby Groot/Vin Diesel spend a good chunk of time together. Rocket and Yondu have some great emotional moments that are some of the best in the movie, in my opinion. Baby Groot is leaned on a bit heavily, maybe, but his simplistic cuteness is … well, cute. His opening is wonderful.
Drax/Dave Bautista and Mantis/Pom Klementeiff worked perfectly off of one another. Like Baby Groot, I thought they might have leaned a bit hard on Drax for humor, he was a quip machine, but most of his jokes did land, so it was okay. Of the two big cries for me in this film (I’m a crier, remember), Mantis got me for one of them. Pom is fantastic. I’m excited she’s in the MCU.
Ego/Kurt Russell was pretty darn great. Very charming. Said a lot of absurd stuff, and pulled it off damn well.
Because of Sam Cooke and Fleetwood Mac, I’m going with better than Vol 1. And, god, am I going to have Brandy stuck in my head for the next couple of days…. There are worse things!
Interesting to Note
Not only are there several mid-credits scenes and an end credit scene, the credits themselves are filled with fantastic little bits of humor. If ten years of films haven’t taught you to stay behind and pay attention, I’m not sure this is going to make any kind of difference, but I’ll say it anyway: DON’T LEAVE THE DAMN THEATRE, CRAZY PERSON!
Some good cameos, keep a weather eye out for those, too.
Expectations were crazy high for this one, and I don’t think it quite met them. It is a damn fun movie, but it didn’t blow the doors off like the first one did, because it is a continuation in that world. The world itself was what astonished in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1, as well as the way the world was presented in film. The expansion of that world was amazing, and as a comic book fan, delightful, but it wasn’t breaking new ground like taking superheroics into space.
But it was still fun. And it still had a shit ton of heart. I’ll see it again, no question.